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Labor’s re-run of Rudd’s housing dud

Media Releases

Date : 15 December 2018

The Hon Josh Frydenberg MP


16 December 2018


Labor’s re-run of its failed affordable housing scheme is nothing more than an admission that its big new housing tax will have a negative impact on housing affordability and supply.

Labor’s National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS) was rorted, ripped off taxpayers and was strongly criticised by the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) after it was first introduced in 2008. It did not work then and it will not work now. Labor has clearly learned nothing from its past failures and is putting in place a re-run of Rudd’s dud.

This scheme is just one of a litany of failed Labor schemes that show Labor cannot be trusted, from pink batts, overpriced school halls to cash for clunkers.

If Labor really cared about housing supply, they would scrap their ill-conceived plan to abolish negative gearing as we know it.

Experts including Riskwise, the Real Estate Institute of Australia and the Housing Industry of Australia have been warning for months that Labor’s housing tax will drive up the cost of rent. Labor’s policy risks forcing more people into social housing.

Independent modelling commissioned by the Master Builders Association found Labor’s policies could result in up to 42,000 fewer new dwellings, 32,000 less full time jobs and an $11.8 billion drop in building activity.

Like everything else, Labor over-promised and under-delivered on affordable housing and left a mess the Liberals and Nationals are still cleaning up.

Labor’s NRAS scheme exposed investors to scammers, offered no protection for the rights of tenants or investors, and offered the same incentive regardless of the size of the property or where it was, meaning houses were not built to purpose or where the need was greatest.

The ANAO reviewed this Rudd Scheme twice, and twice found it wanting – not only did it not deliver on its dwelling targets,  the administration and assessment process was not effective and the continual amendment of regulations to address shortcomings resulted in a complex regulatory framework.

In contrast, under our Government more than 100,000 first home buyers received a loan approval last year, the highest level since 2009/10. More than 200,000 new homes have been built every year since 2014 and more than a million jobs have been created on our watch.

We have a plan to improve housing outcomes for all Australians and are spending $30 billion over the next five years on affordable housing. This includes the National Housing and Homelessness Agreements with the states, funding for the National Housing Infrastructure Facility, and increasing the Capital Gains Tax discount to 60 per cent for affordable housing investors.

Only the Liberal-National Government, with a proven track record of running a strong economy, can deliver the affordable housing solutions that Australians need without increasing taxes.

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